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Boy 30529: A Memoir Hardcover – April 9, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Verso; 1 edition (April 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781680787
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781680780
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #851,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

“Anyone who survived the extermination camps must have an untypical story to tell.” Furious at all the self-righteous, generic Holocaust stories, Weinberg looks back with no heroics at his experience as a young teen in the Prague roundups, the transports, the camps (including Auschwitz, Terezin, and Buchenwald), the death marches, the traumatic Allied bombing, and, finally, liberation. Now an eminent scientist in London, he is always haunted by those who did not survive, and readers will keep going back to the heartbreaking, small cover photo of his adoring little brother, who died in the gas chambers, as did their mother. Told with an honest, contemporary, sometimes wry viewpoint, Weinberg’s graphic memories are haunting, as he searches the Web and historical archives to find out now what he did not know then, while it was happening to him: where he was marching, how many died. The dual perspective, then and now, and the blend of family intimacy (including occasional photos) with the gripping, authoritative historical overview make this an essential title for discussion. --Hazel Rochman

Review

‘Moving – and genuine’ —Daily Mail

"An unusually good-natured memoir about life in the Nazi camps and the travails of being a postwar refugee. Weinberg ... has a quick, curious mind...A revelation ... told with both candor and odd innocence."—Kirkus Reviews

"Told with an honest, contemporary, sometimes wry viewpoint, Weinberg’s graphic memories are haunting, as he searches the Web and historical archives to find out now what he did not know then, while it was happening to him: where he was marching, how many died. The dual perspective, then and now, and the blend of family intimacy (including occasional photos) with the gripping, authoritative historical overview make this an essential title for discussion."—Booklist

"All those who care about the proper documenting of this horrendous era must be grateful to Felix Weinberg for giving us this insightful and ultimately uplifting account."—Suzanne Bardgett, Imperial War Museum

"A very witty and highly readable account of life in Nazi camps, with truly original information and an amazing sense of humour. A great lesson in resilience, survival, hope—and genuine modesty."—Gilbert Achcar, The Arabs and the Holocaust

"A sensitive, witty, intelligent—and ultimately, extremely moving—memoir."—Richard Zimler, author of The Warsaw Anagrams

"Felix Weinberg’s memoir stands out from other Holocaust memoirs in its accomplished style, its powers of exact recollection and depiction and in its dry humour."—Professor Charmian Brinson, author of The Strange Case of Dora Fabian and Mathilde Wurm


"With a detachment that makes the telling all the more powerful, Felix Weinberg has given witness to what he saw and experienced through the terror, misery and absurdity of his teenage years. This was, he explains, at first a gift to his family, and this intimacy without sentimentality draws us in to the loss at the heart of the book. It was also a history he had suppressed, and as Weinberg tells it, he explains that it’s strange and painful to document it for the first time. He revisits the suddenness of round-ups, random killings, separations, forced labour and marches. This reminded me that the war against the Jews was above all else a war against our physical presence in Europe which this book replies to simply by having been written. Beyond that though, is the reply of a boy who escaped annihilation and found that by staying alive he could think, study, research and eventually teach at the highest level. In the face of genocide on any people, anywhere at any time, the book is the ultimate response: that we exist and have the right to exist. I wasn’t only moved by it. I was strengthened by it."—Michael Rosen, author, poet

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Meaghan on May 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover
What sets this apart from other Holocaust memoirs is how the author, who became a renowned physicist, makes reference to scientific terms and uses science throughout the book; for example, trying to guess what chemicals were in the camp soup. It's quite charming actually.

I also appreciated how the book ended. Some Holocaust memoirs end at liberation, leaving me frustrated as to what happened to the rest of the writer's life. Some go waaaaay too far into post-liberation years and become boring. I thought Weinberg struck just the right balance here.

Well, this is another blow against the stereotype that scientists are bad writers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Schmerguls VINE VOICE on February 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This is one of the most saisfying Holocaust memoirs I've read. The author, born in Czechoslovakia, went into a prison camp in 1942, when he was 14, along with his mother and younger brother. He became separated from his mother and brother and they did not survive. The author tells what he remembers, and it is clear to me that he avoids fiction and tells a truthful story. What a perceptive dismissal of Hitler the author sets out: "it seems just that the evil genius who cast a black shadow over all my childhood, who destroyed my wonderful family, among many millions of others, and who, but for the grace of God, so nearly destroyed me, ultimately perished like a rat in a sewer in the month of my 17th birthday."
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